At last, it’s arrived; the downhill ease along your running trail is here. As you’ve approached, you’ve seen the valley that is this Thanksgiving holiday season and you know what that slump in your routine means. There’s always another hill on the horizon so, how much and how long of a workout is it going to take to balance out that Thanksgiving Dinner, anyway? By the time you’ve had a helping of the Stuffing (an estimated 356 calories per serving), gravy-drenched cheddar mashed potatoes (340 calories per serving), and Pumpkin Pie (316 calories per serving), you’re looking at the year’s severest food coma and that’s not even counting the possibility that the Tryptophan amino acid teeming in turkey is, in fact, nap-enducing. The experts at the Calorie Control Council tend to tally the average calorie consumption of a standard Thanksgiving meal to a whopping 4,500 of those bad boys.  So, it goes without saying, returning to any kind of fitness regimen is going to be an uphill battle.

Turkey dinner spread with fixings

But, in even-handed appraisal, who doesn’t feel better after sweating out all of that saturation? A good run just before meeting for the meal can be paired with a simple walk afterwards to get your system in the mood for real nutrition and the urge to start burning off the excess fat. This bookend routine format doesn’t fit every last person’s schedule, however, especially if you’re traveling during the holiday so, here are a few ways to have your bird and eat it, too.

If the holidays invoke a sense a family, it’s fitting to remember your parentals sage advice: eat your breakfast. In yet another example of being the most important meal of the day, starting the day off by breaking your fast will not only help get you up and at ’em but will also pace your system so you don’t show up to the gathering ready to clear the entire table all by yourself. A simpler and more accessible riff off of this is to just swig some hot coffee or tea right before you dig in. The percolated brew will be filling for just the right amount of time to supress your appetite so you won’t gorge on the entirety of the spread.

infographic showing thanksgiving feast calories and how to burn them off

If you’re feeling particularly proactive, you can rivet it up a notch. Try a Pre-Holiday workout, you know it’s coming and you’ve had years of experience to go off of. 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat, according to the American Society for Nutrition so, you’ve gained between 1 to 2 pounds in a single day, nay sitting! According to Columbia University, you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. Implement a workout that can prep for any single meal intake with a 1 week routine such as going for a daily 20-minute trail run, hit a punching bag for 30 minutes, or simply dance for 40 minutes on the daily. The following daily workout will enable you achieve these goals in a week’s time:

Circuit Train
Too busy with holiday prep to hit the gym? We hear you. So try this calorie-blasting, muscle-toning total body circuit training routine — easy to do at home — to trim 500 calories today:

Do 60 seconds each of: push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, dumbbell overhead shoulder presses, bench dips, bent-over dumbbell rows, and step-ups on a step (about seven minutes total).
Repeat this sequence two more times. Rest for two minutes between each set.
Do 60 seconds each of: dumbbell chest press, plank, jumping jacks, forward lunges, bicep curls, bicycle crunches, and jumping squats (about seven minutes total).
Repeat the second sequence two more times. Rest for two minutes between each set.
Cool down with an easy walk for three minutes.”

thanksgiving season still life with pumpkins and vegetables on a haystack

If you happen to find yourself losing the energy you’d amped up prior to the celebration, there’s always a lighter fare to fall back on. Be mindful of your time indoors and suggest activities to your entire gathering to get them out of doors. Instead of settling down to watch football sharing a pack of cold ones, throw it around (protip: incorporate a drink and voila, you’re communing over a drinking game).

Lastly, now that you’ve had your feast, there’s no necessity to hang on to leftovers that will hardly keep beyond the pale, pack them up for visitors to take right after the celebration.